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Reserve(d)!

In what may be seen as a diplomatic and strategic setback for India, the South Asian Nation has lost Farzad-B Gas Field in Iran that was discovered in 2008 by ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL), the international subsidiary of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), a Government of India-owned oil and gas exploration and production company founded in 1965.

The Iranian Oil Ministry‘s official news service Shana has confirmed the news, saying that the Hassan Rouhani Administration recently awarded a contract for developing the giant gas field to a local company. It may be noted that the field holds 23 trillion cubic feet of in-place gas reserves, and 60% of the reserves is recoverable. It further holds gas condensates of about 5,000 barrels per billion cubic feet of gas.

Shana reported: “The National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) has signed a contract worth USD 1.78 billion with Petropars Group for the development of Farzad B Gas Field in the Persian Gulf. The deal was signed on May 17 in a ceremony held in the presence of Iranian Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh in Tehran.

As expected, the development has upset the top management of the OVL, as the Indian company and its partners had planned to invest up to USD 11 billion for the development of the discovery. On October 18, 2020, NIOC had hinted that it would conclude the contract for the development of 3,500sqkm Farzad-B Field, sitting in a water depth of 20-90mi on the Iranian side of the Persian Gulf, with a local company. So far, the Indian company has invested around USD 400 million in the block.

Farzad-B Gas Field

Political experts are of the opinion that India’s proximity with Israel, considered as Iran’s arch rival in West Asia, might have prompted Tehran to sign a contract with a local company. Iran, according to them, wants the Indians, who oppose Colonialism, to support the Palestinian cause. This is not a conflict with two equal sides to the narrative, nor it is a Civil War or Riots or Communal Violence… it rather is a fight for Decolonisation. It seems that many people across India and other parts of the Globe have started to understand this context more clearly. It is Palestine’s fight against another flagrant form of apartheid, something the Palestinians and South Africans have been saying since the 1960s. It is finally also being recognized and shown by the UN Agencies and Human Rights Organisations.

It has become history that Racial Discrimination had become one of the main items on the UN agenda after African nations attained Independence, of course after the Sharpeville Massacre in South Africa on March 21, 1960 had enabled the world to form an opinion to the perils of Apartheid and Racial Discrimination. Although different Declarations were being adopted by the UN General Assembly from 1963, starting from the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, leading to the International Convention, then the International Year for Action to Combat Racial Discrimination, and the next three Decades for Action to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination, starting in 1973, as well as the International Year of Mobilisation against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance in 2000, with laudable progress, yet despite all the efforts of the international community, countless human beings continued to be victims of Racial Discrimination. New developments worldwide, such as the greatly increased migration, have led to a resurgence of manifestations of racism. Xenophobia has also been seen to have caused violent conflicts and even Genocide. Although most of these are seen to be based mostly on Economic subtly turned into Political agenda, these sorts of manifestation in different forms, it may be surmised, tend to pose a grave threat to Human Civilisation, as a whole!

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